You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Workers on zero-hours contracts fall for first time in six years

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The number of UK workers on zero-hours contracts has fallen for the first time since 2011, according to official statistics.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal there were 883,000 workers on a zero-hours contract as their main job between April and June 2017, falling 2.2% from 903,000 in the previous year.

These figures “break the upward trend that was observed since 2011” according to the ONS, and it is likely to have been affected by “greater awareness and recognition of the term zero-hours contract’, it suggested.

Controversial zero-hours contracts were widely discussed during the 2017 election cycle after Labour announced plans to ban them in its manifesto. While they do provide flexibility for both employer and employee, as there are no guaranteed minimum number of working hours a week, they may not provide a stable or reliable income stream.

In total, estimates suggest these employees, who tend to be young, part-time women or in full-time education, now make up 2.8% of all people in employment.

The ONS said these workers usually commit 26 hours a week, but 26% want more hours. Most want the additional hours in their current job, as opposed to a different job which offers more hours.

Based on the length of time with their current zero-hours employer, these workers typically stay in the job for less than 12 months, though 97,000 have been in this position for 10 years or more.

Estimates from a business survey for May 2017 also revealed there were 1.4 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum number of hours, representing 5% of all employment contracts. The ONS explains that this number is larger than the number of people as these workers can have more than one contract.

On an industry level, most zero-hours employees tend to be in the admin and support services sector, followed by accommodation and food and wholesale and retail.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

Which ISA is right for you? A round up of the six products available in 2017

From cash to innovative finance to lifetime, here's our guide to the ISA products available to savers this yea...

Guide to buy-to-let tax changes

In late 2015, former Chancellor George Osborne announced a range of  tax measures aimed at landlords, which t...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Five fund tips for a 0.25% interest rate environment

With interest rates stuck at a record low 0.25% and expectations rates could fall to close to zero, here are ...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Investing your money

Alliance Trust Plc gives you smart insight into how to invest your money

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
mortgage application approval
First paperless mortgage application launched by NatWest

NatWest is the first lender to offer a completely paperless mortgage, where borrowers won’t need to send a signed application...